Here are the 8 retail CEOs who met with Trump to discuss stopping the border tax

President Donald Trump met with eight retail CEOs Wednesday morning to discuss tax code reform.

"Tax reform is one of the best opportunities to influence our economy," Trump said ahead of the meeting, held in the Roosevelt Room in the White House.

The CEOs assembled represented the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), which is chaired by AutoZone CEO Bill Rhodes.

Two members in attendance, the heads of Target and Best Buy, have publicly stated that they are against a protectionist policy of a new "border tax" on imported goods proposed by House Republicans.

In an RILA statement following the meeting, Rhodes said the meeting was a "positive and productive conversation." He said that he and his fellow executives "stressed the importance of taking a thoughtful approach to tax reform for both individuals and corporations," and that, "We look forward to working with the President and his Administration on the issues of importance for our industry, our employees and American working families, who by and large are our customers."

In addition to meeting with the president, the CEOs also met Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Here's who visited the White House.

Retail CEOs who met with Donald Trump
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Retail CEOs who met with Donald Trump

Bill Rhodes — Chairman, president, and CEO of AutoZone

AutoZone's stock took a hit after Trump's election, which was perceived to be a reaction to Trump's rhetoric over trade with Mexico. The US auto industry imports $80 billion worth of cars and parts from Mexico annually.

After the meeting with the president, Rhodes said in a statement, "the president understands we support pro-growth policies that we believe will lead to greater domestic investment."

Photo credit: Getty

Brian Cornell — Chairman and CEO of Target

In January, Cornell traveled to Washington, DC to meet with members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

"He told them an import tax could impact consumers' ability to buy essential goods, such as baby supplies that are made overseas and imported to the United States, according to a person familiar with the talks," Reuters reported.

Photo credit: Getty

Hubert Joly — CEO of Best Buy

Reuters reported in January that Best Buy was circulating a flyer throughout Capitol Hill that cited "an analyst forecast that a 20 percent tax would wipe out the company's projected annual net income of $1 billion and turn it into a $2 billion loss" and that "foreign internet sellers like China's would be able to avoid the tax by making sales online and shipping to U.S. consumers directly, 'undercutting U.S. businesses.'" 

Photo credit: Getty

Art Peck — CEO of Gap Inc.

Gap Inc.'s family of brands — which includes Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic — produces its clothing and apparel overseas.

Peck has not publicly commented on the implications of a border tax but was one of the signatories of a public letter to Trump following his the November US presidential election that called for him to uphold President Barack Obama's climate change regulations.

Photo credit: Getty

Stefano Pessina — CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance

The Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid agreed to a merger late last year, but they did not get the deal approved before Trump took office. They are awaiting the merger to go through in July, pending approval by the Federal Trade Commission. 

Photo credit: Getty

Marvin Ellison — Chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney

In a climate where retail stores have been severely struggling, J.C. Penney is no different, though Morgan Stanley analysts bumped up the company's stock rating from "Underweight" to "Equal Weight" on February 13. 

Photo credit: Getty

Jill Soltau — President and CEO of Jo-Ann Stores

Jo-Ann Stores is America's largest fabric and crafts retailer, with about 800 locations across 49 states.

At the end of 2015, it had $2.4 billion in sales and 23,000 employees

Photo credit: Getty

Greg Sandfort — President and CEO of Tractor Supply Company

In early 2016, Sandfort said Trump seemed like a "Pandora's box," the Nashville Business Journal reported and noted that he was wary of a Democratic president increasing regulation and portraying the business world in a negative light.

Tractor Supply Company is a Tennessee-based retail chain focused on home improvement products, with $6 billion in sales and locations in 49 states. 

Photo credit: Getty


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